Encouraging a Team Working Environment [INFOGRAPHIC]


Here are 27 ways to put an end to the Red Pen mentality in education. What is Red Pen mentality? It is one of those people always walking around pointing out the flaws and never having a solution. Often in education, and in other team work environments, team members are quick to criticize. Team members either prefer their way or are insecure about their way. The easiest response is to point out the flaws of others, to gossip, or engage in other destructive behavior. This breaks down the team and destroys the cooperative environment. Mia MacMeekin offers this infographic on how to foster a positive team working environment.

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Social Capital: Who We Are Together And How We Work


Reposted from Learning & Leading:

“Social capital is highly dependent upon nurturing trust at all levels of the organization. Trust doesn’t happen overnight and needs to be cultivated. While trust needs time to develop, it has to be developed with intentionality. Hargreaves put it best when he said, “Trust doesn’t come from micromanagement or leaving people alone. It comes from engaging with people about their work.” This engagement has to be intentional, thoughtfully planned, and monitored by all involved.

Each of us experience roadblocks to enhancing social capital within our teams.  In my current professional life, the size of the organization is a challenge.  The elementary school where I proudly serve as principal has nearly 140 staff members serving over 1,000 students.  In an international setting, we experience a lot of staff attrition.  Any time a new staff member joins, the whole dynamic of the team changes.

By team, I really mean teams – grade level teams, curricular teams, and the entire elementary school team.  Of course, time is a challenge.  How do you create opportunities to build trust at grade levels, between grade levels, horizontally and vertically?  How do you work to establish a culture of trust that, regardless of staff movement, permeates the building so that anyone who enters feels that trust is high, honored, revered, respected, and cultivated?  How do you help newcomers realize that trust is not just earned, but it’s given and supported?  How do you help everyone within the organization understand that levels of trust are constantly changing and that the only way to get trust moving in the right direction is to be vulnerable about practice and to communicate openly and professionally?”

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ISTE and the Verizon Foundation Launch Free Mobile Learning Academy for Educators


School Teams Can Apply Now for September Kick-Off; Earn CEUs From The Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Reposted from District Administration:

“The Verizon Foundation and ISTE will collaborate to develop and implement the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy (VMLA), a virtual professional learning program designed to help school teams of teachers, tech coaches and administrators prepare for successfully integrating mobile technology into learning and teaching.

In addition, ISTE and the Verizon Foundation are working with The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education (CTE) to develop the curriculum for the VMLA program. The initiative will provide selected educator teams across the country with a series of free, moderated virtual professional development modules aligned to the ISTE Standards that will earn participants Continuing Education Units from The Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

This free professional learning program is aligned with the ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age. ISTE is inviting school teams from across the continental United States to apply to participate in the first phase of the program. School teams are made up of one school administrator, one tech coach or equivalent and five to eight teachers. The VMLA will be offered online four times between September 2014 and December 2015. Interested teams can pre-register online at”

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Conventional Leadership Won’t Get You Innovation


Reposted from Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Forum:

“What most distinguishes innovation leadership, Linda A. Hill explains, is recognition that innovation is a “team sport,” not the act of a sole inventor. “Truly innovative groups are consistently able to elicit and then combine members’ separate slices of genius into a single work of collective genius,” the authors write. Or, as Hill puts it, “Conventional leadership won’t get you to innovation.”

At eBay Germany, for instance, the authors found examples of how a maturing company like eBay can retain its innovative spirit. For a holiday promotion, a young project manager and his marketing colleagues launched a “treasure hunt,” working nonstop to launch registration pages, clues, and an hourly countdown clock. Trouble was, the launch violated eBay’s well-established corporate project-development processes. When the treasure hunt began, 10 million contestants logged on, crashing the local servers.

Justus, eBay’s senior VP in charge of Europe, could have stopped this and other similar “micro-projects,” but instead he decided to pursue them and fly under the radar of corporate headquarters. Successful innovations emerged, such as an Easy Lister feature, and separate registration processes for private and business sellers. Later, Justus shared the successes with then CEO Meg Whitman, which led to a global micro-projects strategy.”

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